Women’s Speak: Listening to our Inner Sense
As a Counsellor, Social Welfare Worker, Educator, Community Development Officer and Researcher, I have worked with many women over the years, of all ages. Over the years, the women I have worked with have also come from a diverse range of social and cultural backgrounds. My own brand of counselling and engaging with other women tends towards an intuitive approach, where I encourage the voice of my clients, and other participants, to step forward and direct the therapeutic process or the exchange. I am one person, with a particular mindset, a particular set of values and beliefs and a specific set of skills. I encounter other women with this firmly in my heart and in my mind to allow them to be themselves as much as they feel safe to, and this is what I base my counselling practices on, creating a safe space.
As women, we need to be heard, we need to feel listened to and accepted for who we are. Unfortunately, it is my experience that, a lot of the time, this is not how we are treated. Often we are seen but not really heard. Even in being seen, we are made to feel that it is our smile, our pretty dress, our red hair, our thick thighs, our painted nails, our high heels, our new sun glasses and all the other physical, material things about us, that matters to others and that make us who we are. As women, we know that they are not. We know that as women we relate deeply, we feel intensely, we know deeply and we live our lives with intention and purpose.
As women we are so much more than the clothes that we wear or the car that we drive. Our identities run deep, and by deep, I mean that we are layered and that those many layers of our selves are connected to others. We are connected to our children, our friends, our families, our sporting colleagues, the people we work with and our many different communities. As women, we give a lot of ourselves, and without wanting to stereotype women, it seems that this is something we feel comes “naturally” to many of us. We are nurturers; we nurture others from a young age and continue to do this throughout our lives, within our own families, looking after the children and the elderly, the vulnerable and for many of us, this carries through to our work. Anyone who has worked in any area of the so called “helping professions” will know this.
So, if as women we have a need to be heard and seen for who we truly are, and if we tend towards nurturing others, as members of the helping and healing professions, especially the holistic health and wellbeing community, then how do we stay well within ourselves? As an intuitive practitioner, I tend towards a “different strokes for different women folks” approach. We are all individual and that is part of what makes us special and unique. Each of us knows what it is that “floats our boat” so to speak. It’s not important what it is, but it is important to make a note of what it is that brings us joy, refills our tank and makes us feel whole again, and then to do it, do it often and do it without any guilt. I love to garden, to write and to create art and craft. I am thankful for the many creative women in my circle who inspire and guide me. I have other female friends who are there to check in on me, let me know when I am not being true to myself. I value spending time with all these women who make my life a more whole and meaning experience. There are also times though, when I don’t want to be around others, and in these times, I seek solitude and self-reflection. Sometimes I go for walks in nature, sometimes I put on music that speaks to me while I burn my favourite incense and sometimes I write. I have always written and enjoyed words and my bookshelves are full of my journals, which I sometimes go back to, to see how far I have come. But you don’t have to be a writer, journaling is a wonderful way to record and share with yourself who you really are. There are lots of different kinds of journals but I like the ones where you start with a blank book and fill it with bits of yourself; pictures, words, affirmations, found objects, paper cuttings and more.
There are many techniques for refuelling ourselves but the only ones that are going to work are the ones we choose and the ones we do. Self-care is as much of an action as is looking after or working with others. If we are not in touch with our selves, being present with ourselves, then how can we nurture others? As I stated, as an intuitive practitioner, my role is not to tell you to meditate or play sport or go for a walk in the forest or burn scented candles or find a new friend or play soothing music or take a long bath or play with a pet or stick affirmation cards on your fridge, but to remind your to be in touch with yourself, with who you really are. That way you will know what you need to stay healthy and whole, and in the meantime, I will hold space for you. I will listen to you while you speak your truth and I will walk beside you as you heal. Each one of us is precious and unique, imagine our power when we hold our hands and hearts together, as women. In these broken times, the world needs us to be ourselves more than ever.
Theresa Jones is an intuitive counsellor, incorporating holistic principles and energy healing in her practice, Inner Sense Intuitive Counselling Services. You can contact her on 0458268605